Young girls growing up often say that they will never be like their mothers.
I said that.
I'll bet my mother said it once or twice in her younger days too.
Girls have big dreams in their heads about who they want to become and of what they will do.
I wanted to be an artist and did not want children. That did not happen. I'm a mother and only a leisurely artist.
I did not want to have to ever cook or clean ... "someone else would do it for me!"
I love to cook. I even studied to be a Gourmet Chef and drive my family crazy with my constant cleaning.
I am a neat nick. Who knew!
What I have found and would say that my mother found out as well, was that it's not so bad being like your mother.
Though I no longer live in Indiana, my fondest memories still reside there.
My mother, Mary Lou Lynch Sartor, is still there and the object of most of my childhood memories.
Mom, as most of you know, is the author of Thursday's "Brazil Buzz." She frequently writes about her family, present and past.
It's the memories of my childhood that she seldom writes about because she loves to tell what my family as well as my sister's family is up to from time to time.
This is why I am writing this.
I want to share how my mother shaped me into the woman that I said I would never become.
My childhood was blessed with a stay-at-home mom.
I often came home from school to the sweet smell of something baking in the oven.
In the winter time, the windows were always steamed up from her cooking all day.
My favorite was chicken and noodles and cherry pie.
My sister, Starla, has the same favorites list as I do. Our house was on north Alabama Street. In the front corner of our large front yard was a Peony patch.
We had several large bushes that would bloom every spring with large pink and white flowers.
I could not wait for them to bloom so that I could surprise mom with a large bouquet.
I would gather the bunch of heavy blooms and proudly haul them into her with overwhelming pride and love.
She always smiled and put them in water.
She never complained that they were filled with tiny ants that she had to fight for the next few days following the presentation of this lovely gift.
I also grew up loving the outdoors.
Mom would take us into the woods at the end of north Elm Street, where my grandparents lived to "hunt" mushrooms.
We would spend hours in the woods, with our walking sticks that she would so carefully find for us.
Along the trails as well as off the beaten path, she would name the types of trees and plants that we would pass.
She knew them all and still does.
As an adult, I have spoken to my new friends, far away from those Indiana woods, about "hunting" mushrooms.
Most of them were confused by the fact that we ate wild "things" that we found in the woods.
Then they would poke fun at the notion of "hunting" things that were perfectly still and did not put up a fight.
I let them go on about this and knew in my heart that those times in the woods were some of the best times of my life. To this day, I love nature and being surrounded by its beauty.
Anyone who knew me as a child will remember that my best friend besides Jane Snyder (Lee) was my Mrs. Beasley doll. For years, she went with me everywhere. She had blonde hair like my mom and a blue and white polka-dot dress and black rectangular glasses.
One of my early school pictures is of me wearing a blue and white polka-dot dress and my glasses were dark brown rectangles just like hers.
I loved this doll.
Well, to make a long story short, I took Mrs. Beasley to school with me one spring morning.
I was in second-grade at East Side Elementary.
My sister and I would cut through an alley between Vandalia and Ashley streets.
We had just turned down this alley when a pickup truck turned down it as well behind us and just missed hitting me.
My sister pulled me out of the way and Mrs. Beasley cushioned my fall. I was skinned up, but that did not matter to me.
Mrs. Beasley's "voce box" was busted and she no longer talked when I pulled her string.
Later that evening, my mother, Dr. Mom, and her trusty companion, Dr. Dad, put a white sheet on the kitchen table and operated on Mrs. Beasley's voice box as though it were a real operation.
They worked for a couple of hours, but the prognosis was not good.
Mrs. Beasley would no longer be able to ask me, "do you want another cup of tea," or "do you want to play?"
They sewed her back up and gave her back to me. Over the years, Mrs. Beasley had other "accidents."
Her arm was accidentally pulled off at some point and mom reattached her arm. She also took red bandana material and recovered her body. She saved my friend for me. She knew that I loved that doll and I knew my mom loved me.
I now have five daughters, Alexis Cory, 26, and mother of three, Madeline, 9, Dylan, 7, and Annabelle, 4-months-old. Sarah is 21 and mother of Caiden, 2, and Leiland, 1. I also have Lizzie, who is studying Veterinarian Science at Virginia Tech, Olivia, 18, who is going to attend Johnson and Wales to study Culinary Arts and last, but not least, my mother's namesake, Mary, 12, and currently is in an HGT program and would like to attend film school.
Some of them live far away from me.
Alexis is in Boston, Sarah in Indiana, and of course, Lizzie is in Virginia.
My daughters often tell me that I am more like grandma every day.
As a young girl, that would have made me mad. As a mom, I take that as a compliment.
Ten years ago, my family relocated to northern Virginia. I worked in Washington, D.C., as well as in the northern Virginia area.
I started out living in the "big city," but soon moved west to the mountains.
We had a home surrounded by 10 acres of woods, nestled between the north and south forks of the Shenandoah River. It was beautiful.
I could be found in the woods on a regular basis. I knew the types of trees and plants as well as the large community of small animals.
I fed the birds from feeders hung from shepherds hooks mounted on my two decks. I even had a black bear who loved to climb up onto the deck to get to the oiled sunflower seeds.
It felt like the home I knew as a child. Even the nearest town felt like home. It was small, "everyone knows everyone" community. It was just like the home of my childhood, sparking those fond memories of my youth. The only thing missing was mom.
My husband, Cliff Patrick, and I were relocated again by our company last spring to Denver. Talk about the great outdoors! It's absolutely beautiful.
We live west of Denver at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Cliff and I both work at Denver International Airport. We both are contracted to United Airlines through Air Serv Corporation. He is the Safety Manager and I am the Account Manager for the United Airlines account, as well as the Continental Airlines account.
We both deal with a staff of just under 300 people. It is very hectic and stressful at times. We are blessed with the beautiful sight of the Rockies as we drive west toward home every afternoon. Once we are home, we spend a great deal of time on the deck of our apartment. I have my birdfeeders out and full at all times. I have a pair of Mallard ducks that come up to our deck to eat the dropped seeds. I also find them bread to eat.
I'm pretty sure that we will be asked to stop feeding the ducks soon, because they have taken to swimming in the pool at our complex!
But being put in the same situation, my mother would be doing the same thing.
Feeding the birds.
I have only given you a couple of examples of my memories of my childhood with my mother and some of the times in my life as an adult that were influenced by the woman she was and is.
I am proud, as well as happy, that I am like my mother. I am also happy to share that with my daughters.
Alexis keeps a beautiful home and loves to cook. The others love nature and the outdoors. They all love mushroom "hunting" and being in the woods and are all very artistic in their own ways.
So I guess you could say that they are like their mother as well.
The gift that keeps on giving.